World | Mar 18, 2023

Citi Foundation announces inaugural Global Innovation Challenge to empower nonprofits improve food security

/ Our Today

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The US$25 million request for proposals seeks to support nonprofits leading groundbreaking food security projects that are designed to boost the physical and financial health of underserved communities

(Photo: Citi Group)

The Citi Foundation has announced its first-ever Global Innovation Challenge to help scale the impact of nonprofits around the world that are developing innovative solutions to improve food security. 

This inaugural challenge will provide a collective US$25 million to 50 organisations to support the piloting or expansion of ideas and projects that are designed to address this issue and strengthen the physical and financial health of low-income families and communities.

With 770 million people suffering from some form of malnutrition around the world, food security is one of today’s top global crises. A recent study from Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS) found that the estimated impact of malnutrition on the global economy could be as high as $3.5 trillion per year — or close to $500 for every individual on the planet – stemming from record high food prices and other macro-economic factors that have led to civil unrest, global displacement and more.

“Far too many families around the world face the daily struggle of not knowing when and where their next meal will come from,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation and head of Citi community investing and development. “We understand the economic factors that contribute to this ever-growing crisis, and our goal with this RFP is to help empower diverse, mission-driven nonprofits that are pioneering game-changing, scalable solutions in their communities.”

Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. (Photo: La Nacion)

For this RFP, the Citi Foundation will prioritise projects in four areas:

  • Access: Support efforts that increase access to affordable and healthy food to low-income communities. 
  • Affordability: Improve food affordability through community finance efforts that help reduce the financial burden placed on low-income communities.
  • Availability: Address challenges in the food supply chain that lead to positive community benefits, such as the creation of new jobs and businesses.
  • Resilience: Increase the number of available resources that enable low-income communities to prepare for and respond to disruptions in food security during crises more effectively.

“Globally, nonprofit organisations have responded positively to food insecurity issues which have been affecting a wide range of health, functioning and quality of life outcomes for communities. Many play a facilitating role in the fight against hunger providing technical support and building capacity of communities to take charge of their food production resources. With this Global Innovation Challenge we look to these nonprofit organisations to continue to work to provide sufficient safe and nutritious food that make for an active and healthy life” said, Eva Lewis, Citi Jamaica Country Officer

Eva Lewis, chief country officer of Citibank Jamaica. (Photo: Contributed)

The first Global Innovation Challenge builds upon Citi and the Foundation’s history of support of addressing food security:

  • Citi and Citi Foundation’s support has helped No Kid Hungry provide 300 million meals for kids facing hunger since 2014.
  • Citi volunteers have packed over 1.7 million meals on behalf of US Hunger since 2017.
  • In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the foundation supported the Global FoodBanking Network’s COVID-19 relief efforts across Central and South America.
  • In Asia, the foundation’s support for Think City in 2020 helped them partner with four community organizations in Malaysia to ensure vulnerable populations received food and medical supplies.
  • Most recently in Europe, financial support from the foundation helped Crown Agents International Development purchase and deliver nutritional support for premature infants in Ukraine amidst the conflict.

The deadline to register is March 22. For more information on this opportunity including the eligibility requirements and target geographies, please visit:


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